|734 Col. Sgt. J. Johnson, Manchester Regiment.
Queen’s South Africa Medal clasp Defence of Ladysmith.
Killed in action Caesar’s Camp 6 January 1900.
With photocopies of an individual and a group photograph of John Johnson in uniform and
several original letters written by Johnson to his wife Jeannie including one dated 26 August
1899 from S.S. Goth at Tenerife en route from Gibraltar to South Africa, one dated 13
September 1899 from off Cape Town, two dated 23 September and 7 October 1899 from
Pietermaritzburg and three from Ladysmith. The first of these is dated 15 October 1899 and
the second is undated but probably written in mid October. The third is dated 2 November
1899, the date the town was besieged, so it is probable that it was not transmitted until after
the relief and therefore after Johnson’s death.
Also with an original letter of condolence dated 14 March 1900 to Jeannie from his company
commander Captain Vizard and two original letters dated 21 March 1900 and 30 March 1900
to Jeannie from Mrs. Vizard. Surprisingly, at this late stage, Mrs. Vizard was unaware
Johnson was dead although in the second letter she had heard he had been very seriously
wounded. Also with a copy of page 8761 of The London Gazette dated 28 December 1900
showing Johnson having left a credit balance of £31/13s/1d and a copy of his marriage
certificate showing he married Jean Tyke 13 March 1888 at Aldershot.
Also with a photocopy of a letter dated 18 January 1900 sent by Pte. T. Bramwell to his wife
from Caesar’s Camp in which he mentions “the Colour Sergt.” among those killed in the battle.
Johnson was the senior British NCO killed in the Caesar’s Camp/Wagon Hill battle. Buried on
Caesar’s Camp. According to the regimental archives, at the time of the Boer attack on Caesar’s
Camp Johnson was in charge of ‘A’ Company pushing up to relieve ‘D’ Company. He fell, shot in
the head, exclaiming “God protect my wife and children!” Out of the original 16 men in his
party, including Privates Devenport and Farmer (see above), only two (Privates Parker and
Served in ‘A’ Company, 1st Battalion. Medal and clasp confirmed on roll. Commemorated on
regimental memorials in St. Ann’s Square, Manchester and on Caesar’s Camp and on panels in
All Saints Church, Ladysmith. 158 QSAs with single clasp Defence of Ladysmith to the
regiment of which 18 were awarded to men killed in action at Caesar’s Camp.